Thursday, 26 May 2011

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Kung Fu Panda 2 [Review]


Opinion: B+

Surprisingly deviating away from the usual fate of sequels, Kung Fu Panda 2 stays sharp and fun with a pleasant story to tell. Despite being a good first-feature animation by Director Jennifer Yuh, it is still not flawless as some of the sideline characters (such as some of the Furious Five disciples) had little participation in this second adventure that we'd all love to see more of.


In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po's new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.

Following the first movie, Kung Fu Panda 2 is just like how its tagline suggests. It's bigger, better, and twice the fun. Although it can't be said similarly that laughter is doubled, but it is still very much prominent with credits to the voice actors who displayed great flair of instilling personality and chemistry within and between the characters. I especially loved Po (Jack Black), Mr Ping (James Hong), and Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman).

Without quality voice-acting, it'd merely be rapid flashes of vibrant animation onscreen.

First-time Director Jennifer Yuh has kept the sequel on par with the original, which is no feat considering the great acclaims that followed the first animated film. She is also the one responsible for the fascinating 2D visual subplot of Po's childhood past, which I thought was beautifully done.

Animations are extremely fast in Kung Fu Panda 2, thanks to all the fighting action championed by The Dragon Warrior and The Furious Five. Despite the rapidity of all the kung fu action, the audience is able to interpret and understand what specifically took place during the fights through great illustrations with high clarity (in contrast to say, Peter Jackson's battle scenes with the Urukhais, where rapid edits of confusing grunts and punches greet the audience).

This is a great plus point for me.

This opinion is based upon a 2D (35mm) screening of Kung Fu Panda 2, therefore no comments can and should be be made on the 3D format of the film. The 2D screening is very much similar to the first animated film back in 2008, and this could be further enhanced should a digital 2D format be available for viewing (animated films are always better viewed in digital format, in my opinion that is).

Besides the great visuals and fun factor, the story in the second adventure is also nothing less of a lovely tale that fits the interests of all ages. Exploring Po's past as well as negotiating his current relationship with his current father Mr. Ping (who's a goose), it might feel a tad bit more on the serious tone but that's the way it is.

Everybody grows up, including the kids who caught the first animated film three years ago.

Of course, Kung Fu Panda 2 isn't the perfect film that it seems. Running at a little less than 90 minutes, perhaps more screen-time of some of The Furious Five disciples could be added on for greater chemistry and fun-filled moments. Most of the focus is upon Po and Tigress (Angelina Jolie), while much less is upon Monkey (Jackie Chan), Crane (David Cross), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Mantis (Seth Rogen).

In the much likely third adventure, we sure hope to see more moments between Po and friends.


6 comments:

  1. Great review! I'm trying to catch this fatty kungfu panda this weekend :)

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  2. Hey Jaccstev!

    Yes you have to watch it, lots of fun for me and I hope it's the same for you too! Share about it after you catch it!

    Thank you! :)

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  3. OMG, you already saw it?! I'm so jealous! I loved the first film, and I've been looking forward to the sequel - it looks fun, plus, I love its visual style. Wonderful review, mate!

    Hey, you'd better get rid off the 'word verification' - it's rather annoying and pretty unnecessary ;)

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  4. I'm gonna watch it soon.. :)

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  5. @Nebular Thanks George! Will be checking on your opinion once you've watched it! I'm sure it'll be soon! :D Oh and I've removed it as per your suggestion ;)

    @JEMSEN Hi JEMSEN! Yeah I'm sure you'll be, will drop by to check out when you do. It should be fun! :D

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  6. I'm so happy the movie is here!! I loved the first one, I actually saw it with my kids but now they are a bit older so they feel it's not cool to see a cartoon with their mom anymore. I guess I'll have to take my husband and bribe him with a large popcorn (:

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